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Dual nationality and lawmakers

December 07, 2012

SEVERAL reports in Dawn about the bill allowing many public representatives in the Senate and the National Assembly to hold dual nationality is a matter of concern for citizens who were part of the Pakistan movement.

If the elected representatives are not loyal to Pakistan and act against the Constitution of Pakistan under which they have taken the oath and sworn to defend and violate the same by holding dual nationality, they have no right at all to keep their posts.

These persons are responsible for the present situation which Pakistan and its people are now facing.

The Pakistanis working abroad and holding dual nationalities and double passports have no right to vote and or contest polls according to the constitution. In the best interest of the country there should be no dual national in any government service (provincial and federal governments).

Those who have Pakistani passports and computerised national identity cards and work abroad on contract with visa and work permits should only be allowed to vote.

On completion of their contract when they return home to settle permanently in Pakistan they should have the right to contest in the elections.

There should be a proper check on political parties as to whether their elections at tehsil, district, city, provincial and federal levels are conducted by their leaderships?

If so, who are the office-bearers at those levels and how many members they have? Who are their bankers? What are their bank balances? What is their party’s manifesto?

Whether the party is registered at regional, provincial, and federal levels and whether the party has any foreign associations and its members and office-bearers hold dual nationalities and are involved in any cases, etc?

These are the questions the Election Commission should particularly ask from the contesting individuals and parties.

Our constitution safeguards the best interests of our country and its people. If any amendment is to be made, it should only be for the above purposes and not for any benefits to any person.

A person with dual nationality cannot be loyal to his/her motherland and such persons for their own personal benefits and facilities keep dual nationality.

They are not loyal to Pakistan. They should not be allowed to play anymore role in the affairs of Pakistan. The cases of Moen Qureshi and Shaukat Aziz, two former prime ministers, should be enough to open our eyes.

Great visionary leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had with much difficulty given the gift of a unanimous constitution to the people of whatever left of Pakistan after its bifurcation in the early 1970s. As he knew the dual national could not be loyal to the homeland, he introduced the constitutional bar on them.

The Supreme Court has already disqualified dual nationals from among our MPs. So, why our present lawmakers want to be lawbreakers?